Sign

A sign is a representation of an object that implies a connection between itself and its object. A natural sign bears a causal relation to its object—for instance, thunder is a sign of storm. A conventional sign signifies by agreement, as a full stop signifies the end of a sentence. (This is in contrast to a symbol which stands for another thing, as a flag may be a symbol of a nation).

The way a sign signifies is called semiosis which is a topic of semiotics and philosophy of language.

How a sign is perceived depends upon what is intended or expressed in the semiotic relationship of:

  • Signification
  • Significance (i.e. meaning)
  • Importance

Thus, for example, people may speak of the significance of events, the signification of characters, the meaning of sentences, or the import of a communication. Different ways of relating signs to their objects are called modes of signification.

Uses of conventional signs are varied. Usually the goal is to elicit a response or simply inform. That can be achieved by marking something, displaying a message (i.e. a notice), drawing attention or presenting evidence of an underlying cause (for instance, medical symptoms signify a disease), performing a bodily gesture, etc.

Read more about Sign:  Nature, Types

Famous quotes containing the word sign:

    When we dream about those who are long since forgotten or dead, it is a sign that we have undergone a radical transformation and that the ground on which we live has been completely dug up: then the dead rise up, and our antiquity becomes modernity.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    For I choose that my remembrances of him should be pleasing, affecting, religious. I will love him as a glorified friend, after the free way of friendship, and not pay him a stiff sign of respect, as men do to those whom they fear. A passage read from his discourses, a moving provocation to works like his, any act or meeting which tends to awaken a pure thought, a flow of love, an original design of virtue, I call a worthy, a true commemoration.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone; You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
    Bible: Hebrew, Deuteronomy 6:4-9.